Perseverance Brings Justice | Central Asian Republics

Posted: May 8, 2012 in Tajikistan

Gulbahor knows what it means to fight for land use rights. In 2007 she became the chairwoman of a 50-member farm in northern Tajikistan, which was created after a state-owned collective farm was reorganized. As part of the reorganization process, the new farm was saddled with some $40,000 of the former state-owned farm’s debt.

One of the farm’s members, a well-connected businessman, used his influence to persuade local authorities to improperly reassign nearly half of the farm’s land directly to him. The businessman took control of the farm’s best land, kicked off the members working those areas (nearly all women), and improperly structured legal documents to leave the farm holding the entire $40,000 of inherited debt.

In hopes of reclaiming the land, Gulbahor submitted numerous requests to local authorities to review the documents granting the businessman rights to the land. After repeated denials, Gulbahor eventually obtained the documents, which were clearly fraudulent, but the authorities refused to take action. Gulbahor then turned to Nodira Sidykova and the USAID Land Reform and Market Development project, and  its legal aid center.  With this support and her own determination, Gulbahor gained the rights to her farm’s land back — and much more.

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via Perseverance Brings Justice | Central Asian Republics.

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